Tune in November 16 for a conversation with Julian Van Winkle III himself.

By Betsy Cribb
Updated November 11, 2020
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Julian Van Winkle III and Wright Thompson_Credit_Thom Shelby
Julian Van Winkle III (left) and Wright Thompson
| Credit: Thom Shelby

Around here, Pappy Van Winkle needs no introduction. The fine bourbon has become something of Southern folklore: Barrel-aged for more than twenty years and released in limited batches each fall, the bottles are elusive (fans will scramble for lottery tickets just for the chance to buy one) and expensive (many go for upwards of $3,000).

But for senior ESPN writer and author Wright Thompson, Julian Van Winkle III, the man behind the bourbon and the grandson of Pappy himself, is even greater a treasure than the legendary liquor he makes.

Thompson’s new book Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last, hit shelves on November 10, and in it, he distills the mythology surrounding the brand to celebrate what’s at its very heart: a commitment to protecting the legacy built by those who come before you. (BUY IT: $17; amazon.com)

 “It’s barely a book about bourbon,” the author said in a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview. “It’s a lot about what we owe our families and how we can pass the best of them along.”

While a bottle of Pappy may be hard to get your hands on, a conversation with Van Winkle himself is decidedly more accessible.

On November 16 at 7 p.m. Central, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, together with the LEE Initiative (a Kentucky-based organization behind a number of COVID-19 relief programs), will host a virtual event with Thompson and Van Winkle to talk about the book.

Tickets start at $42 and include admission to the event, a signed copy of Pappyland, a donation to the LEE Initiative, and perhaps most exciting of all, entry into a drawing for a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle (they’ll choose three winners!). Buy your ticket here, then start crossing your fingers for good luck.

WATCH: 50+ Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes

Because a conversation about bourbon calls for a cocktail.